Bistro is the perfect description of new unpretentious, restaurant addition to Palm Springs. Balisage Bistro is located on Gene Autry Trail, on the east side of Palm Springs International Airport, next to Atlantic Aviation. The views are unbelievable and you can watch planes land in the distance. There is plenty of parking. The walk to the entrance of the actual restaurant is just a few steps away from the tarmac and the parking lot.
The décor is simple and can best be described as casual elegance. The ceiling is high and the walls display local artists’ works. Owner, Chef Daniel, has included some art from his own collection of European art. Linen tablecloths are a very nice touch. Tables are far enough from each other so you can carry on a conversation in privacy.
There is alcove which holds 10 people comfortably. It is a perfect place for a family reunion or a meeting.
Wine and beer is served. The Mediterranean inspired wine list is extensive and includes organic wines.
My appetizer was an adventure since I had never eaten cucumber tapenade. Pan roasted filet of sole, fresh basil, capers and Aioli elegantly placed on one-half of an avocado.
My dining companion ordered hummus and flat bread which he commented was perfect.
The menu is extensive and it would be impossible not to find something you like. If you are looking for something fried, this is not the place for you. Chef Daniel’s cuisine is Mediterranean style with strong emphasis on fresh, available ingredients.
My entrée, Duck Cassoulet, contained, braised duck breast with Spanish Chorizo, carrots, onions and was served in a rectangular orange ceramic casserole dish. It was artistically surrounded by baby carrots and broccollini. This is a hearty meal. I am confident during the winter months this will be one of the highlights of the menu. Or if you like European Cassoulet, you cannot go wrong—he has gotten it right.
My companion, a vegetarian, is still raving about his meal. True to the menu’s words, “Let us know if you want to prepare a vegetarian dish for you.” His entrée was sauté fennel, baby carrots, brocollini and navy beans, accompanied by a serving of cheesy macaroni and cheese.
Honestly, when the food is presented, one wants to stop and look at the artistry of the presentation of the food. Chef Daniel has a gift for presenting food.
I’m still thinking about the amazing Fig Cake. The texture is like carrot cake and has a citrus cream cheese filling. Whatever you do, do not dismiss this cake just because you think you don’t like figs.
My companion had the lemon tart. No question it had a great zing to its flavor. Raspberries and sweet pistachios made for a great contrast. The portion was such that it can easily be shared.
Our evening ended with a great conversation with Chef Daniel. This congenial man is not only proud of the Balisage Bistro; he displayed great respect for his staff. One senses the team effort by all connected to the restaurant.
Chef Daniel is obviosly keeping his eyes wide open to see on how Balisage Bistro and its cuisine can become an integral part of Palm Springs. With Atlanta Aviation private aircraft passengers as well as local residents, finding it a great place for a relaxing, delicious meals it appears he is on the right track.
Catering is also an integral part of Balisage Bistro business. Balisage’s team is just winding up a gig serving meals to the crew for a three-week movie shoot in Palm Springs.
This writer suggests this is a place to go for great conversations and food with your friends.
Check out Chef Daniel’s Blog for scheduled special dinners and events.
Meanwhile, I’m planning on checking out Balisage Bistro’s new addition “Wine Down Wednesdays”. Happy Hour with a new twist.
145 N Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 406-4565 / www.balisagebistro.com
Open Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Wine Down Wednesdays Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.